Warm Up with A Total Gym “Layered Workout”

Posted by. Posted onMarch 12, 2024 Comments0

Beat the Chill: Warm Up with A Total Gym “Layered Workout”

Maria Sollon, MS, CSCS, PES

As the winter chill is still with us, it’s tempting to curl up under the blankets and hibernate until spring. But fear not! With your trusty Total Gym by your side, you can beat the winter blues and keep those muscles fired up, even when it’s chilly outside.

Let’s face it, the cold weather can zap our motivation to hit the gym or go for a run. But with a Total Gym workout, you have the perfect solution right in the comfort of your own home. Say goodbye to icy roads and freezing winds, and hello to a warm and invigorating workout that will leave you feeling energized and strong right into the spring season.

So, beat the chill with our Total Gym and get your body ready to leap into the spring season!

The Layered Up Workout

This workout routine not only keeps your muscles warm, but it also helps you build strength and power by layering up your movements for maximum effectiveness.

Set Up:

Level: Low – High (incline varies depending on the exercise performed along with current strength level).

Accessories: Pull-up Bars and Cables


  1. The Layered Workout is conducted in circuit format, one exercise after the other with minimum rest in between.
  2. This workout contains 3 exercises that can be “layered up” by increasing the difficulty during each set it’s performed (ie: beginner, intermediate, advanced, BONUS round).
  3. Start the first round of the circuit by performing the exercise in its most basic form for 10-20 reps. Then move directly onto the next exercise and perform it in the same manor until all 3 exercises are completed.
  4. Take a quick rest, reset, and repeat this process until all 3 exercises are performed for 3 sets in 3 different variations.
  5. To make sure you have beaten any chill out of your body, perform the BONUS (4th) round for an extra challenge! (Most advanced version)
  6. Be sure to include your own dynamic warm-up and conclude with a proper cool down to promote muscle recovery.
  7. Learn the exercise variations, then follow the Sample Circuit Sequence to fully understand how to “layer up” the exercises.


Before diving into the workout, prepare your muscles with a dynamic warm-up to get those muscles primed and ready to go. Spend 5 minutes doing a series of dynamic stretches and movements such as arm circles, leg swings, torso twists, and squats. This will increase blood flow to your muscles and help prevent injury during your workout.

Cool Down:

After completing the workout, take a few minutes to cool down and stretch out your muscles. Focus on stretching your quads, hamstrings, hips, chest, and shoulders to improve flexibility and prevent soreness.

Beat the Chill: Layered Workout

Now that you’re warmed up, it’s time to get into the meat of the workout. We’ll be focusing on a series of exercises that target different muscle groups while keeping your body in motion to generate heat and build strength.


Key: GB = Glideboard


Set Up: Low Level

  1. Basic: Plank Shifts
    • Assume an incline plank position on the GB with arms extended.
    • A: open GB slightly to extend arms towards vertical column
    • B: return GB to starting position or slightly past original plank (over shoot arms)

  1. Intermediate: Mt. Climbers
    • Assume an incline plank position on the GB with arms extended.
    • A: open GB to hover in a plank. Aim 1 knee towards center of arms, then return to plank.
    • B: Alternate knees towards center of arms; Mt. Climber motion

  1. Advanced: Army Crawl
    • Assume an incline forearm plank position on the GB.
    • A: begin to walk the forearms up to the top of the GB while maintaining proper plank form; straight line from head to heels with core engaged at all times.
    • B: walk the forearms back down the GB to the starting position to repeat the set number of reps.
    • Modify by kneeling on the floor at the bottom base. Range of motion will be less.

  1. Bonus: Down Down Up Up
    • Assume an incline plank position on the GB with arms extended.
    • A: lower 1 arm at a time down to a forearm plank position (down down)
    • B: extend back up 1 arm at a time into a plank position (up up)
    • Maintain a proper plank position at all times.
    • GB can be open or closed based on the intensity challenge you prefer.


Set Up: Medium-High Level + Pull-up Bars Attached

  1. Basic: Tempo
    • Lie prone on the GB while holding the pull-up bars in each hand.
    • A: pull your bodyweight up to perform a pull-up open GB to hover in a plank.
    • B: extend arms back into starting position to repeat at an even tempo.

  1. Intermediate: Negatives
    • A: perform the pull-up with a cadence of 1 count to pull up into the pull-up
    • B: slowly lower back down utilizing a 3 count tempo

  1. Advanced: Pulses
    • A: pull up to the top position and perform 3 small pulses.
    • B: lower down to the starting position to reset and repeat.

  1. Bonus: Plyos
    • A: pull up using powerful strength. At the top of the motion, quickly let go (plyo).
    • B: quickly catch and return to repeat.
    • Hand position can be either overhand, or underhand.


Set Up: Low-Medium Level + attach cables

  1. Basic: Feet on GlideBoard
    • Lie supine with feet on the GB and cables in hands positioned out from chest.
    • A: Curl the upper body into a crunch while simultaneously lowering the arms by sides.
    • B: Return to starting position to repeat the reps.

  1. Intermediate: 90 Degree Knees
    • Lie supine with elevated knees to 90 degrees on the GB and cables in hands positioned out from chest.
    • A: Curl the upper body into a crunch while simultaneously lowering the arms by sides.
    • Return to starting position to repeat the reps.

  1. Advanced: Tuck Extend
    • Lie supine with knees bent at 90 degrees and arms extended from chest to begin.
    • A: Curl the upper body into a crunch while simultaneously lowering the arms by sides and tucking the knees towards chest.
    • B: Extend the the arms and legs in opposition. Repeat this tuck and extend motion.

4. Bonus: Teaser Up

    • Lie supine with arms extended diagonally towards thighs and legs extended straight to begin.
    • A: Roll up into a V-sit simultaneously bringing your arms and knees towards each other.
    • B: Slowly reverse this motion to return to the starting position to repeat.

Sample Circuit Sequence

Round 1: (basic)

  1. PLANKS: Plank Shifts
  2. PULL UPS: Tempo
  3. PULLOVER CRUNCH: Feet on GlideBoard

Round 2: (intermediate)

  1. PLANKS: Mt. Climbers
  2. PULL UPS: Negatives (Up 1, Slow 3 counts down)
  3. PULLOVER CRUNCH: 90 Degree Knees

Round 3: (advanced)

  1. PLANKS: Army Craw
  2. PULL UPS: Pulses (pulse 3x, extend slowly)
  3. PULLOVER CRUNCH: Tuck Extend

Round 4: BONUS

  1. PLANKS: Down Down Up Up
  2. PULL UPS: Plyos

NOTE: You can also choose to perform each exercise in all of the variations as its own circuit.  For example, Round 1 is all planks, Round 2 is all Pull Ups, and Round 3 is all Pullovers. Note that if this option is chosen, you will be performing all 4 exercise variations before changing the circuit.

To see a demonstration of how these Total Gym exercises are performed, check out my YouTube channel @groovysweat.

There you have it! A Total Gym workout that not only beats the winter chill, but also leaves you feeling warm, strong, and prepares your muscles for the spring season ahead!


Lets Connect!


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